The Sloughi is a breed of sighthound that originated in North Africa, particularly in the region of the Maghreb (Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria. It is a robust and elegant dog known for its speed, agility, and endurance. The Sloughi is considered one of the oldest dog breeds and has been traditionally used by the nomadic Berber tribes for hunting game, such as desert hare, gazelles, and deer as well as jackals, foxes and wild boar.
Sloughis have a lean and athletic build with long legs and a deep chest. They have a short, smooth coat that comes in shades of light sand to mahogany red, with or without darker markings such as brindle, black mask, ears and/or tail, black mantle or a darker overlay known as charbonné. They typically have a wedge shaped head with dropped ears and expressive, almond-shaped eyes.
Sloughis are known for being loyal, reserved, and independent. They are typically gentle and affectionate with their families but can be aloof or reserved around strangers. They have a strong prey drive due to their hunting background and may not coexist well with small pets such as cats unless they are properly introduced and acclimated to them. Several of our friends have Sloughis that happily coexist with cats.
Sloughis are adaptable to different living environments but generally require a securely fenced yard to allow them the space they need to gallop daily. They are sensitive to extreme temperatures and thrive best when they live in the home as part of a family.
Sloughis are intelligent, but not necessarily biddable. Prospective dog owners who are looking for a companion who will be unquestionably obedient are best advised to consider another breed. Like all sighthounds, Sloughis are sensitive to correction, and coercive, corporal training methods are not suited to them. (Although it should be noted that as dog training has evolved, it is now understood that heavy handed, punitive training methods are not suited to any dog.) They function best with owners that are as intelligent and sensitive as they are.
Although Sloughis are a generally healthy breed, cancer, wobbler disease and some autoimmune diseases (Addison’s disease, genetic hypothyroidism, symmetric lupoid onychodystrophy/onychitis (SLO), and irritable bowel disease) have been diagnosed in Sloughis. The breeding of Sloughis with wobbler disease or any of the autoimmune diseases listed herein is prohibited by the Parent Club Code of Ethics. In addition, there is a genetic form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) that is unique to the Sloughi. Fortunately, this has been nearly eradicated by vigilant DNA testing. Potential Sloughi owners should ensure that the parents of any puppies under consideration are OFA CHIC registered and that their breeders adhere to the Code of Ethics of the American Sloughi Association.
The American Sloughi Association is the AKC National Parent Club for the breed and that is the best place to find accurate information about Sloughis in the US.